Self-harm is any act of harming your body intentionally. This can include but is not limited to: 

  • cutting

  • burning (with lit matches, cigarettes or heated, sharp objects such as knives)

  • carving words or symbols on the skin

  • self-hitting, punching, or head banging

  • piercing the skin with sharp objects

  • excessive scratching of the arms, legs, or etc.

Why do people self-harm?

There are several root causes or underlying reasons individuals may self-harm. However, the pattern or cycle is similar for most people struggling.

Breaking this cycle can seem daunting and nearly impossible. However, people find recovery every day. It takes hard work, intentional actions, and practice but can be done. 

To get yourself headed in the right direction, begin thinking about ways you can replace self-harm in the cycle with different coping skills. Below is a list of healthy coping skills you can try or you may come up with some of your own!

  • Reach out for support

  • Practice non-judgement

  • Read a book

  • Watch a favorite movie or TV show

  • Listen to your favorite music

  • Draw, sketch, color

  • Journal

  • Do a puzzle or crossword

  • Take a relaxing shower

  • Deep breathing

  • Tapping

  • Abstain from alcohol consumption

  • Get a massage

  • Do yoga

  • Meditate

  • Take a short nap

  • Gentle stretching

  • Cry

  • Go to group therapy

  • Cook

  • Pray/go to religious ceremony

  • Practice mindfulness

  • Drink water

  • Exercise

  • Eat right

  • Visit friends

Check your thoughts.

Unhelpful Thought

  • I am a failure.

  • I am going to feel likes this forever.

  • I have had and have accomplishments in my life like being a student at WVWC.

  • I have felt this way before and it did not last forever.

Factual, Challenging Thought


T E X T   L I N E

Crisis Text Line


Hurting? Get free help for self-harm now.


Text CONNECT to 741741


  • Impulse DBT: an invaluable tool for those who need to keep track of daily impulses.

  • BoosterBuddy: a free app designed to help improve their mental health. Manage your personal wellness journey and earn achievements as your sidekick guides you through a series of daily quests designed to establish and sustain positive habits."

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Buckhannon, WV 26201


Tel: 304-473-8803

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